Otakon 2006
An Entertainment

by Christopher Macdonald,
Representative: John Oppliger, Gene Field

AN Entertainment had no new licenses to announce at Otakon.

By request of the audience, Oppliger started the panel off with a sizzle reel of AN Entertainment titles, which included trailers for Risky Safety, Miami Guns, Hare+Guu and Hare+Guu Deluxe.

Oppliger then spoke briefly about the titles that they have released, Risky Safety and Miami Guns are completely released, while Hare+Guu is currently being released (volume 4 comes out on the 22nd) and to be followed by Hare+Guu Deluxe, to be hopefully released right after the TV series. They expect to license & release Hare+Guu final, they currently have an option on the series, but have not licensed it as of yet.

AN Entertainment is currently in negotiations for a TV broadcast for Hare+Guu. It was due to a licensing issue in Japan that AN Entertainment was unable to include the original ending on the TV series. As for as they currently know, they expect to such issues with the OVA series.

When asked if AN Entertainment would start releasing more than 1 title at a time, or continue to do one show at a time, Oppliger stated that because AN Entertainment had such a small staff, it would probably continue to release only one title at a time.

Oppliger stated that AN Entertainment is very concerned about the state of the North American DVD market. Oppliger stated that the entire North American DVD market (not just the anime market) has been decreasing in sales for about a year and a half. Field said that it is a catch-22 that the market is hurt by an oversaturation of products, yet the only way for companies to really make money is to re-release titles at a lower price later on.

Field stated that, while the DVD market is shrinking, merchandise sales, for Anime Nation at least, remain consistent.

Regarding Blue Ray or High Def DVD, Oppliger stated that the current focus is to release their titles on DVD, and that they haven't yet given any serious thought as to what format to use in the future since the status of the formats is currently unresolved. Oppliger pointed out that even in Japan there is only one anime yet announced for Blu Ray (air) and none for High Def DVD. Oppliger hypothesized that the removal of DVD region differences between North America and Japan could affect DVD prices, either by increasing North American prices, or decreasing Japanese prices, or some mixture of the two…

In 1998 Anime Nation looked at licensing Berserk and Cyber Team in Akihabara, but at the time it didn't work out. It wasn't until 2001 that everything came together such that Anime Nation was able to successfully start licensing series.

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